In case of cheating, break glass!
In my latest blog I touched the topic of grades and the perception of their value. In this last blog of the week I will talk about the byproduct which comes with a high appreciation of grades: cheating.
JAMK has become increasingly international in the past years and it will continue to do so. This creates conflicts as cultures and cultural norms clash with each other. Cheating and the way it’s viewed is one of these conflicts. I bet many exchange students have found out that Finns like to follow the rules precisely and this might be a bit irritating if you are from a culture, which is used to less regulation.
Especially in the international degrees, the line between what is allowed and what is not has become increasingly gray and cases of cheating have been frequent. This creates conflict between people and cultures as different parties play by different norms.
I was glad to see the work to tackle this issue has started. Few weeks back IB lecturer and cultural expert Steven Crawford and soon-to-be-graduate Christine Niemi hosted, with George Simons, a seminar concerning the ethical principles at JAMK. The work of these individuals is bearing much fruit. Already now JAMKO has received good feedback on how to better deliver the ethical guidelines to the students.
Cheating is a problem for us all. I have discussed cheating with my peers occasionally and I have seen a few interesting points of view. One was that people should mind their own business and not mind if others cheat. The other viewpoint was that we should focus on what we do as individuals; if somebody else cheats, it is their shame. However, I strongly disagree with both of these sentiments.
This comes back to a value of grade. Grades will become worthless with cheating, as they stop measuring what they were intended to measure: our knowledge on the topic. If someone, who has no real understanding of the topic, through help of cheating can reach the same grade as someone who has studied day and night, the grades have lost their value. What worth is an achievement if it is gained by unfair means? Merely smokes and mirrors.
Cheating is also an unfair act to those who do not cheat. It is the same case as doping usage in the sports. It gives the cheater an unfair advantage over those who play by the rules. Unchallenged, culture of cheating leaves two options. You either accept other people succeed better than you with unfair means or you join the cheaters.
A good example of this is American Baseball. Back in the days of Babe Ruth the hit hardly ever reached all the way to the outfield. Nowdays with the help of steroids most of the hits reach the outfield and usually fly all the way to the audience. If you aren’t steroidically enhanced you have no hope to succeed as professional.
Lets not become steroid users!
Otto Martikainen, Chairman of the represantives